Dojo Etiquette

Dojo etiquette

The dojo, the training hall. Why do you bow when you enter the dojo? As a sign of respect to all those who trained there before you. Well that’s what I was told. However this is a cultural thing. Don’t go to a seminar in a sports hall and get offended if different stylists don’t bow when they enter. For some a training hall is just that, a room, with no more significance than any other. In Thailand you bow to the spirit house, which is usually in the corner of a room. Where’s the spirit house in the hired room you share with badminton? Does it matter?
Well only in the aspect of respect. Remember that some of the south east asian countries that are the source of many of these arts, have a tradition of ancestor worship. It gives a sense of heritage and continuity, but dancers, musicians and magicians have it too. They all know where a move came from, who originated a certain trick, phrase or lick. Martial artists are no different. Any that suggest they invented a technique are usually to be worried about. I think shows of respect are important, not so much between the student and the room, or even between the student and teacher, but definitely between students, training partners. Your training partner is the most valuable( and fragile) piece of training equipment you will ever have. Be exceptionally careful, and respectful of them.
Is this part of your school? What do you do and how do you explain it?